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East Indian / Bollywood Belly Dance

bollywood belly dance It is very likely that belly dance was practiced in India many thousands of years ago before it gave way to more modern styles of classical Indian dance. Although traditional bellydance hasn't been considered part of Indian culture for hundreds of years, there are clues that tie bellydance to India in earlier times. The Romani ('Gypsy') people, who are believed to have originated in northern India, have long performed belly dance moves. They started migrating westward out of India over 1500 years ago and took their influence in dance all the way to Europe. There are also strong similarities between many core bellydance techniques and yoga: they both activate the body's energy centers or chakras. And many ancient Indian sculptures depict mythological female figures in classical bellydance poses wearing what we would recognize today as a belly dance hip belt.

Since the twentieth century, bellydance moves are commonly seen in the 'Bollywood' films of India ( 'Bollywood' refers to the Hollywood style movie industry centered in Bombay, India).

The Moves: The Bollywood film industry, like Hollywood, borrows liberally from many sources to create its fantasy entertainment. Bollywood bellydancing is a fusion belly dance style that uses some core bellydance moves together with classical Indian dance and other dance steps from around the world. Because the majority of the moves are usually non-bellydance, this style of dance is not authentic bellydance, but an entertaining blend of traditional Eastern and modern Western moves.

Music: The music for Bollywood bellydance can range from traditional to modern Indian music. Increasingly popular is the blending of other musical styles with traditional Indian music (for example, adding American pop music elements, or traditional Arabic musical instruments).

Costume: Bollywood costuming is usually brilliant, colorful, and elaborate, with many unique ethnic influences mixed with Hollywood fantasy. One sees traditional Indian clothing combined with Arabic and American belly dance fashions. India is famous for its beautiful jewelry, which is often used generously in the costuming with headpieces, nose rings, earrings, necklaces, numerous bracelets, anklets, hand jewelry, rings, and more.

Although bellydance is currently not considered native to India, it's likely that at least some of the core belly dance moves and core belly dance concepts may have originated in India millennia ago, and then spread to other parts of the world.

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